SALT LAKE CITY -- A tiny Canadian company says it has raised enough money from a stock offering to start producing oil from Utah's tar sands for a first-of-its kind project in the U.S.
U.S. Oil Sands Inc. says it raised $11 million from the offering and plans to start digging a 62-acre pit in eastern Utah this summer. Environmental groups fear it could lead to widespread destruction of public lands in the Rocky Mountain region.
Executives say they will produce 2,000 barrels of oil a day by next year, in the start of what could grow into a much larger operation. The Calgary, Alberta-based company holds leases on 32,000 acres of state trust lands in Utah's Uinta basin.
A Utah environmental group is trying to stop the pilot project by challenging state approvals.